Senegal – Maison de la Gare

COUNTRY / PROBLEM

Senegal, a former French colony, gained independence in 1960 and is now one of the most stable democracies in Africa. The population of Senegal is over 15 million, and over 60% of its citizens are under 25 years of age.

Over 95% of Senegalese citizens are Muslims, whose religion requires them to learn the Quran. It is a common practice in this country to send children to Quranic schools, where students (ar. talibe) will acquire the required religious knowledge.

About 100,000 boys attending Quranic schools in Senegal are doomed to terrible living conditions every day. They are forced to beg in the streets for meals for themselves and very often also for money for their Quran teachers. According to the International Labour Organization, such street begging reflects one of the worst forms of child labour.

ORGANISATION

Maison de la Gare is a non-governmental organization that was founded in 2007 and operates in the Senegalese city of Saint-Louis. It provides support to the Talibe, both to those who go out to the streets every day between their Quran lessons to beg for food and / or money, and those who have escaped from their schools and now live on the street. The mission of the organisation is to help children who are forced to beg and are abused by their teachers (marabouts) from illegal Quran schools.

The beneficiaries of the organisation have access to vocational training (including tailoring), as well as to physical and artistic activities (including football, karate); part of the educational offer varies depending on the volunteers present. Children also receive, if possible, material support: clothes, shoes, and meals, as well as necessary medical or psychological help.

PROJECTS

Kulczyk Foundation supports the organization Maison de la Gare by helping to build a boarding school for girls and boys. Ultimately, this place is also intended as an asylum for children saved by the employees of the organization during their night patrols on Saint-Louis’ streets.

It will be a place where the beneficiaries would acquire general knowledge, Quran lessons would be held there, and - for older pupils - vocational classes would be conducted. Children would also acquire skills that would help them find a job in adult life.

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Since the beginning of its existence, Kulczyk Foundation has been working to shape the socio-emotional competences of children and adolescents. To this end, we prepare unique lesson plans that, in an attractive and adapted to various stages of education way, explain the complex world of universal values and emotions, encourage reflection and the ability to draw conclusions, thus helping to build knowledge about ourselves and the world, as well as to shape attitudes towards the reality that surrounds us. We also support the development of teaching staff by means of organizing workshops, conferences, and by integrating the teacher community. We believe that regardless of the region of the world, wise education, implemented in a spirit of freedom and empathy, is a basic component of sustainable development for every human being, as well as a chance for a good start in adult life.

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Documentaries

Documentaries

Our documentary films show the problems of communities around the world and the related activities of non-governmental organizations supported by the Foundation. "Domino Effect" series is created thanks to cooperation with TVN - the largest private television in Poland. This partnership results also in other documentaries - awarded at film festivals around the world. Kulczyk Foundation also cooperates with CNN International in the production of documentary films as a part of the CNN Freedom Project. Modern slavery is their main topic.

Learn more
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Programs for teachers

Since the beginning of its existence, Kulczyk Foundation has been working to shape the socio-emotional competences of children and adolescents. To this end, we prepare unique lesson plans that, in an attractive and adapted to various stages of education way, explain the complex world of universal values and emotions, encourage reflection and the ability to draw conclusions, thus helping to build knowledge about ourselves and the world, as well as to shape attitudes towards the reality that surrounds us. We also support the development of teaching staff by means of organizing workshops, conferences, and by integrating the teacher community. We believe that regardless of the region of the world, wise education, implemented in a spirit of freedom and empathy, is a basic component of sustainable development for every human being, as well as a chance for a good start in adult life.

Learn more